Ferguson signs with Vikings

Robert Ferguson's visit with the Houston Texans didn't produce the kind of promises he was looking for, so the wide receiver returned to Minnesota this morning to sign with the Vikings. He was on the practice field this afternoon, wearing No. 85.

Former Packers wide receiver Robert Ferguson and his agent arrived in the Twin Cities late this morning.  He reportedly signed a one-year $700,000 deal that could be worth $1.3 million with incentives.

Ferguson chose the Vikings over the Texans primarily because he believes he would have a better chance of making an immediate impact with the Vikings than the Texans, who planned to put him on the scout team for his first week to evaluate his progress with little in the way of guarantees.

“We look at all eventualities and if a guy is on the street that we feel like has a chance to compete and make our team better, we don’t ever exclude that guy,” head coach Brad Childress said after a walkthrough practice when asked about his evaluation of the young receivers already on the team.  “With that said, I think there are a number of those guys that have done a nice job, but it’s a dog-eat-dog, hand-to-hand competition at that wide receiver position.”

Although Ferguson didn’t receive any assurances of anything from the Vikings, they did legitimately pursue their former rival.

“If I didn't think he had a chance to play I wouldn't be bringing him in here,” Childress said.

Ferguson’s familiarity with the West Coast Offense should help him assimilate rather quickly.

“Obviously Ferguson has been once place for one period of time,” Childress added.  “But that is a consideration; I think probably the primary consideration is skills and ability, and we are confident we can get a guy up to speed and teach them what they need to know.”

As for his health, Ferguson insists the foot injury that sidelined him most of last season is now 110%.

Ferguson started 26 of his 60 career games and has tallied 116 receptions for 1,577 yards and 12 touchdowns.  His best season came in 2003, when he caught 38 passes for 520 yards and four TDs.  Ferguson has also appeared in three playoff games, starting two, and has pulled in eight catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns.  He is the Vikings' most experienced wide receiver.

To make room for Ferguson, the team placed offensive lineman Adam O'Connor on waived/injured.

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